Help the DoD reduce cost of hypersonic glide bodies and associated sensors to win part of $100,000.


The National Security Innovation Network (NSIN), in partnership with the U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane, will run a hybrid pitch event to identify capabilities to reduce cost of hypersonic glide bodies and associated sensors.

A team of subject matter experts will evaluate applicants and select up to the top 15 companies as finalists for participation in the virtual Pitch Day in June 2024. A total of $100,000 in awards will be awarded to the top performing company/companies.

Key Dates

  • May 14, 2024: Solicitation Release - IdeaScale,, NSIN website,
  • May 22, 2024: “Ask Me Anything” Session
  • June 6, 2024: Solicitation Closes & Down-selection Begins
  • June 13, 2024: Down-selection Ends & Finalists Announced
  • June 21, 2024: Pitch Rehearsal
  • June 24, 2024: Pitch Event
  • July 1, 2024: Winner Announced

Benefits of Participating

  • $100,000 in awards available to the top performing company/companies
  • Potential for follow-on opportunities such as Other Transaction Agreements (OTAs), Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), and others
  • Exposure to leaders across multiple branches of the DoD


  • U.S.-owned and operated companies
  • CAGE code required for submission*
  • Early- to mid stage ventures (i.e., companies with few or no DoD contracts, equal to or earlier than Series A); OR non-traditional defense contractors, as defined in the 2023 DoD OT Guide
  • Ability to present the solution’s capabilities by June 2024

*To register or renew your entity or check your entity status, navigate to to get started.

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Applications are required for consideration for the challenge.

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Problem Statement

The National Security Innovation Network (NSIN), in partnership with NSWC Crane will run a pitch event to identify capabilities to reduce cost of hypersonic glide bodies and associated sensors. Currently, a wide range of costly inertial sensors and communication and antenna systems are integrated into hypersonic glide bodies. Additionally, sub-assemblies, thermal protective systems, and control surfaces are time consuming and costly to produce. The desire is to identify revolutionary processes, materials, or capabilities that can augment or replace existing ones to reduce cost and assembly time. These capabilities can replace existing flight control, sensor, materials, and structures onboard. These systems must be able to survive hypersonic environments and be able to be manufactured at scale.

Judging Criteria

Applications and Pitches will be judged on five major criteria:

  • Technical: Soundness, technical merit, innovation of proposed approach, and feasibility of the proposed solution.
  • Team: Qualifications of proposed principals, support staff, and consultants.
  • Commercial Viability: Company has a technology solution that is viable in non-defense markets.
  • Quality of Pitch: Company presents a clear and concise overview of its company and technology, demonstrates how its technology solves one or more of the defined problem areas, and effectively answers questions from strategic advisors.
  • Operational Alignment: Proposed solution aligns with listed features and capabilities.

Technical Features List:

The listed features aim to help industry concentrate efforts on high-impact capabilities, including but not limited to:

  1. Novel Materials: Lightweight, durable materials capable of withstanding hypersonic environments.
  2. Integrated Sensor Systems: Advanced sensors for guidance, navigation, and situational awareness.
  3. Communication Systems: Efficient data transmission systems for hypersonic glide bodies.
  4. Antenna Systems: Compact antennas for onboard communication and data transmission.
  5. Flight Control Mechanisms: Revolutionary mechanisms for optimized maneuverability and stability.
  6. Rapid Manufacturing Processes: High-speed processes for quick and cost-effective production.
  7. Thermal Protective Systems: Advanced materials to protect against extreme heat.
  8. Control Surface Designs: Streamlined designs for improved aerodynamics and maneuverability.

Pitch Deck Submission Requirements

Teams will submit a pitch deck outlining their technology capabilities that addresses features above. Pitch decks should meet the following format requirements:

  • Sized 16:9 (1920x1080 pixels)
  • Horizontal presentation
  • PDF file
  • Maximum 10 slides

About NSWC Crane

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane), located in Crane, Indiana is a shore command of the U.S. Navy. NSWC Crane is under the Naval Sea Systems Command headquartered in Washington DC. Our Mission is to deliver innovative solutions and readiness to the nation and its warfighter through application of our technical capabilities. Advance all-domain system of systems within the mission areas of Electromagnetic Warfare, Expeditionary Warfare, and Strategic Missions. Conduct science and technology, research, development, test and evaluation, acquisition and in-service engineering across the defense life-cycles. Execute other responsibilities as assigned by the Commander, Naval Surface Warfare Center.

About National Security Innovation Network

NSIN is a program office in the U.S. Department of Defense, nested within the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU). We are set up to collaborate with a wide variety of innovators to include universities, researchers, students, entrepreneurs and start-ups. We create opportunities for collaboration across communities and connect those that might not traditionally work in national security. Together, we help drive national security innovation and develop technologies that directly support the individuals responsible for protecting our country.

Intellectual Property Considerations: Applicants retain ownership of existing Intellectual Property (IP) submitted under this Challenge and agree that their submissions are their original work. Applicants are presumed to have sufficient rights to submit the submission. For any submission made to the Challenge, you grant the Government a limited license to use this IP for testing and evaluation for efforts specifically related to the Challenge. The Government will negotiate with individual competitors in the event additional usage, integration, or development is contemplated.

Other Transaction Authority: This NSIN Challenge public announcement is an open call to small businesses and non-traditional defense contractors seeking innovative, commercial technologies proposed to create new DoD solutions or potential new capabilities fulfilling requirements, closing capability gaps, or providing potential technological advancements, technologies fueled by commercial or strategic investment, but also concept demonstrations, pilots, and agile development activities improving commercial technologies, existing Government-owned capabilities, or concepts for broad Defense application(s). As such, the Government reserves the right to award a contract or an Other Transaction for any purpose, to include a prototype or research, under this public announcement. The Federal Government is not responsible for any monies expended by the applicant before award and is under no obligation to pursue such Other Transactions.

Satisfying Competition Requirements: This NSIN Challenge Open Call Announcement is considered to have potential for further efforts that may be accomplished via FAR-based contracting instruments, Other Transaction Authority (OTA) for Prototype Projects 10 USC 4022 and Research 10 USC 4021, Prizes for advanced technology achievements 10 USC 4025, and/or Prize Competitions 15 USC 3719. The public open call announcement made on the IdeaScale website is considered to satisfy the reasonable effort to obtain competition in accordance with 10 USC 4025(b), 15 USC 3719 (e) and 10 USC 4022 (b)(2). Accordingly, FAR-based actions will follow announcement procedures per FAR 5.201(b).’